Sunday, February 18, 2007
A finger-lickin' reunion dinner
Dad's nothing short of excellent when it comes to whipping up culinary gems in the kitchen. He often reminisces about his childhood kampung days in Malacca when he was younger; how he helped his mum prepare meals and mentions with much pride, of his mum's finesse in Peranakan dishes including Devil Curry & Ayam Buah Keluak. I can't help but thank God for my Dad's Peranakan roots - it sure helps to keep my Perankan food cravings at bay :)
Food plays a huge role in my home. It's probably because Dad is such a great cook and tries to cook at home whenever he can. Being a family-centric man, he'd rather have a homecooked meal at home than eat out. I can see why - seriously, I'm a huge advocate of homely food. There's nothing like gathering together at a table and talking about your day and enjoying the delectable spread in front of you.
Today's the first day of the Lunar New Year and in Chinese tradition, families usually celebrate on the eve with a reunion dinner. It's kind of like a day where family members would gather and share a meal together. People who are overseas fly home, and those who are busy usually make an effort to be home with the family.
This year, our dinner included Dad's super yummy Ayam Buah Keluak (chicken curry with black nut), a typical Peranakan dish. My my, the buah keluak rocks my world. Though it is an acquired taste, the black nut goes down well with me. "Black Gold" I call it:
Detractors might refute and call it black s*** but I really couldn't care less. Haha, this is heaven to me. There's just something so appealing about a mysterious smokey, musky black paste that sends waves down my oesophagus - well, after it makes an impact on my tastebuds.
Then there were prawns:
Butter prawns cooked with black pepper. Simply divine. Oo-la-la!
And in my household, chilli is a must-have. No chilli, no smiles; for me at least :p
... and for my Dad. Both of us consume the most amount of chilli and it's not hard to figure out why. We live for spicy and totally dig our curries, sambal and fresh chillies.
To complement the 'Sey ba' (or kong ba as it's more commonly called - it's pork cooked with soy sauce, honey and spices like cinnamon, ginger, star anise etc), we had some red hot chilli:
My favourite way of eating sey ba, is to wrap it with lettuce and add a generous amount of that chilli above. The taste that explodes in my mouth is too yummy for words. The savoury tinge of soya sauce accompanied by the slight sweetness from the honey makes this dish a winner. Dad's known for his sey ba.
Don't you think it looks gorgeous?
Mmmmmmm..... I really must say that this year's dinner totally rocked my world. But then again, Dad's food always rock my world - so well it's either that I'm just biased, or I'm really satisfied. I think it's the latter because I ate so much of everything!
Anyway here's wishing all of YOU a very Happy Lunar New Year! May you get loads of red packets and enjoy the good eats :)